DIGGING IN THE DIRT:
I DREAM A GARDEN
by Dominica Myers
“You are all parts of your dream. You are the symbols, you are the actions, you are the scenery, you are the people in your dream, you are you. You are all parts of your dream.”
- Janet Myers
My mother was an interpreter. Dreams were always safe to be dreamt, often and wild, because I knew they meant nothing and everything. I knew when they were sacred, prophetic, and voiced from the stars. I knew when they were fanciful and baseless. Waking up in the morning meant new dreams and new reasons to call my Mom, for she was an interpreter of Dreams.
My dream today is very simple: I want to plant a garden. I want to plant a nice organic vegetable garden with a sprinkling of herbs and berries. I’ve actually wanted to plant a garden for quite some time, but I’ve always had excuses. I’m a renter, a solo mom, a serial houseplant killer. I don’t know a thing about how to plant or where or when or what to put it in. I had started to try to dig and weed out an overgrown rose garden in the yard of a North Seattle rental cottage year before last, but there was a reason it was overgrown with relentless, writhing, Walking Dead weeds. I was clueless on how to tame the beastly richness of it, so that didn’t last long.
Part of me wants desperately to be like my Depression-era Grama who purposely only owned three pair of shoes – everyday shoes, dress shoes (worn maybe once a year), and garden shoes. Her vegetable garden was majestic. It was so big that it had rows that required annual rototilling. She dug in that bad boy every day I can remember. She grew carrots, parsnip, zucchini, strawberries, rhubarb, pumpkins, squash, peas, potatoes, all kinds of edibles. And flowers – flower beds everywhere! I remember planting sunflowers with her when I was six years old and they grew to be twice my height. I lived with my grandparents out in the boonies for six years of my formative life. How in the world did this gardening thing not rub off on me sooner? I asked Mom once how Grama knew SO much about gardening, and she said it was just something old ladies got into as they aged, and that someday I’d be an old lady and get into it too. Technically, Mom was older than I am now when she said that, so I’m not sure I’m buying the old lady thing. But she was right about one thing: I really do want a garden.
More than want, I need a garden. I need to grow things and feel accomplished at something that requires more work and diligence than talent. I need to feel close to my mother and grandmother again in places that can only be cleansed by dirty hands in soil plucking weeds and touching wormies. I need to feel like I could grow my own food in case of the zombie apocalypse. I need to grow a garden. Maybe not Grama’s epic earthly manifesto garden, but maybe I could start with something small. Maybe something in pots or containers.
Our current rental is a lower level mother-in-law with a covered carport, which I share with my six year old son and two cats. With no soil, and an average of only 45 days of sunshine per year in the Seattle area (not to mention, almost no gardening skills, tools, or knowledge whatsoever), I will have my work cut out for me.
But I am all parts of my Dream, and I dream a garden. I’d like to take you with me on this journey to keep me company in my fumblings, and keep me honest in my intentions. After all, you are part of my Dream too. Come along with me, yes? Let’s grow a garden.
Seattle native, Dominica Myers, is a theatre artist, writer, and soccer mom. She lives just outside Seattle with her small family and two cats, and enjoys writing most when it rains. Follow her on Twitter.
Editor's Note: So excited to be launching this new sereies with the lovely Dominica Myers! Check the Zestyverse on Fridays for new posts on her progress!